The Model and Me: Lola Australia

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, The Model and Me 47 Comments

Five years ago when I first started posting Model and Me blog posts here on Styling You, the aim was to show that a garment you might have seen on a model could work on a shorter, non-size-6 woman.

It wasn’t to show that I looked better than the model. It was to show an alternative.

I believed then – and I believe now – that women are crying out for a visual alternative to what the fashion industry offers us.

I’m not saying my alternative is the only alternative. It is just that. An alternative.

I’m a real woman. But so is the model.

It doesn’t matter her size or shape. She is real.

ALL women are real.

The last few weeks, I’ve received well-meant comments saying that it’s great to see a real woman in the clothes I’ve featured.

I’d like to call myself an average Australian woman. I’m average in height – 166cm – and sized 14-16 depending on the cut on the garment.

There are Styling You readers smaller than me; readers the same size and readers bigger than me.

My aim here has always been to celebrate us all.

So today, before making comment about the model and how she compares to me, remember she too is a real woman.

Ok, stepping off the soapbox and back firmly focussed on summer fashion.

LOLA Australia is another label that I first discovered through the wardrobe of Offspring’s Nina Proudman.

Each year since, I’ve loved what the label has produced in a stunning range of cottons and silks.

The pieces – including this navy and white dress – are extremely wearable and suitable for an Australian summer.

The model

LOLA Australia Fifi dress SS15

LOLA Australia Fifi dress $159

and me

LOLA Australia Fifi dress | Secrets Shhh bangle | ZK Footwear platforms

LOLA Australia Fifi dress* (I’m wearing size 16) | Secrets Shhh bangle | ZK Footwear platforms

I love the shape of this dress. It’s got the flow effect that I love of a summer dress but with a slight shaping under the bust.

This is achieved through both the cut of the pattern and also the placement of the print. An elasticated back ensures a comfortable fit.

It is a shorter style of dress so won’t be to everyone’s taste. For my shorter style sisters, you’ll jump at the opportunity to pick up a summer frock that falls to just the right length.

Wear this dress over your swimsuit with thongs or dress up with wedges for lunch out.

You’ll feel cool AND comfortable – my chief summer wardrobe aims.

Also available in hot pink and turquoise.

Love a cotton summer frock like I do?

The Model and Me: Lola Australia

* I’m 166cm and usually a size 14-16. This frock was gifted to me for editorial consideration. Full disclosure policy here.


Summer 2015 Styling You Shop

You’ll find more summer style inspiration in the Summer Styling You Shop. Have you checked it out yet? You’ll find 21 pieces and inspiration on how to wear those pieces 28 different ways.

Summer 2015 Styling You Shop | 21 pieces | 28 different party and holiday looks

Comments 47

  1. I must confess I often don’t read the comments section so wasn’t aware of negative comments. However, i think it says a lot that so many people like and can relate to the way you wear fashion.

    At the risk of not playing nicely, I currently have a god daughter who has been hospitalised with anorexia. We nearly lost her a few weeks ago and she is still quite critical so it is somewhat shocking to see the model above whose arms and legs don’t look dissimilar to my god daughters at the moment. Yes, we are all different shapes but I’m not buying the idea that that model is that shape naturally. She has been employed because she is thin and the fashion industry still insists that clothes hang best on the extremely thin ( despite evidence above to the contrary)

    Wouldn’t it be great if Lola had said to her “You have a beautiful face but we want you to gain a bit of weight before we use you in a campaign”?

    Like that is ever going to happen.

    1. Hi Nicola, I’m so sorry about your god daughter. Anorexia is an awful illness. What I refrain from doing here and in my real life is making a judgement about a person’s health based on their appearance. The only people who really know a person’s health are themselves and their health professionals.

      1. Anorexia is complicated but a lot of sufferers say they saw images of thin models and thought that if only they looked like that they would be popular/ successful/ happy. It’s not about judging the individual but about perpetuating a myth that thin is a goal to aspire to. would you use a photo with a model smoking?

  2. Well said dear. Dress is only way that impresses others. Nice dress , nice impression. But dress suites to proper figure ladies only.

  3. Hi Nikki. I saw this dress on Monday, ordered the hot pink and it was delivered to me this morning – talk about efficient, impressive service! And I love it – definitely going to get lots of wear out of it this summer. Thank you!

  4. Hey Nikki,
    So glad to see this dress I had it earmarked for purchase just wondering if it is sheer? And is it a very light fabric or a bit heavier? And also, I wanted to tell you that after reading your book, I have consciously started complimenting other ladies on their outfits (I have always mentally done this just thought it would be weird if I said it out loud). It makes us both feel good (sometimes it makes her feel awkward and in turn me but usually all positive) and I often strike up a conversation about the purchases which leads me to where I can shop for myself so many thanks.

  5. I love to wear dresses anytime of year and this one is beautiful. The model and me posts are my favourite on your blog.
    I think it’s great that my daughter (a slender tall young woman) and I (a curvy size 16 and short) can look at the same dress and be inspired 🙂

  6. The dress looks great on you both. And well said, I agree, comparisons are not helpful. We should be asking, “Do I like this style, does it make me look good, and does it make me feel great.”

  7. Great dress and others have said great for us short legged gals. I think what I love about Model and Me posts is that it gives women of ALL shapes, sizes and ages a confidence to maybe step out their comfort zone try something different. By showing how clothes look on different body shapes.

  8. Nikk thank you for making that statement, I had actually started to avoid reading the comments because of some of the things that were being written. If you wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street and say it to their face then don’t say it here.

  9. I love the dress on the model and also on you Nikki,it’s a very pretty dress and yay for some shorter styles for the not so blessed in height like me….thank you Xx

  10. As well as size or shape, I think the age of the person wearing an item is an important differentiator, too.
    Sometimes when a particularly young model is wearing an item I wonder if I will look ridiculous in the same item. I’m not saying that you can’t wear certain items over some random age, but I feel that I would not be comfortable in something that I think is too “young”. Conversely some things I think are too old and frumpy for me.
    Your posts often show another way to wear something that I might consider otherwise too young for me.
    Hope I’ve said clearly that I’m talking about what I feel comfortable wearing- with no judgement for anyone else.Wear what makes you happy and comfortable!

  11. Well said, Nikki. I know the comments were meant to show support to you, but some (not most, and certainly not all) were becoming quite rude to the model. We’re all real women!
    This looks fabulous on you. Great length. Too short for me unfortunately, but I love the pattern so will keep my eye out for something similar.

  12. a cool dress thankyou nikki! … you are a sweetie!
    we all have different body shapes and all things are not equal!
    you present a balanced view to a maze of variations!
    enjoy your day! love m:)X

  13. Gorgeous dress. And I agree all women are real no matter their size. I think we all get carried away with our terms when we see a woman who has curves used as a model as opposed to a straight up and down 8, which we can all agree both are beautiful, but the size 8 model has been the norm for so long we rejoice when we see a curvier model. Embrace whatever size you are. I wish I celebrated my body more pre-kids! But I’m making up for lost time 20kgs heavier later. X

    1. Yes, it’s the language around the discussion that can verge on to the judgemental side of a conversation around size and shape. I know there are readers out there in SY Land of all shapes and sizes and I don’t want anyone to feel ostracised in any way. And go you – never too late to appreciate the body we have! x

  14. Oh wow I love this, and because I am short, it would be a great length for me. I understand what you mean about every woman being real, but for me, if I just saw the clothing you feature on Mondays on a model I would never dream I could wear it. It’s the model compared to me, they are usually really slim, tall and young – totally opposite to me! And the photography, remember the days when models smiled? You always look happy and real! I do think that makes a massive difference for most women, you make wearing the outfit achievable. I hope I don’t come across as being nasty to models I don’t mean it like that, it’s their job and I realize they are told what to do. My wardrobe has changed totally since I’ve been reading your blog, and it boils down to you. Now I will step down off my soapbox haha! Thanks Nikki x

    1. I totally understand where you’re coming from Kathryn. When I used to work with clients one-on-one, I quickly discovered that most women can’t visualise themselves in an outfit they see in a magazine or on a poster in store. That’s why I knew showing at least one alternative to that would be helpful. In my shop we show two alternatives. In an ideal world I could show three or four! x

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